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Jul 12, 16

Briefly, on violence and the Police

From Lucha No Feik 

As has been noted by countless radicals in the past, the question of violence or non-violence is not a true debate. To get to the root of whether violence is necessary or not one must look not just at the current moment but at the desired outcome. Of course the Liberal-Left would condemn molotov cocktails thrown at the police at a march called for on the occasion of yet another black person killed by the police. The Liberal-Left desires to make, as Obama famously quipped, a more perfect union. The issue for them largely is one of reigning in a culture of police departments that are either filled with racist and/or wantonly violent officers that are highly militarized.

I’m not against police brutality, I am against the police.

– Frank B. Wilderson, III 1

For those of us who desire not just a world free of police but of the very racist capitalist society they are intent on protecting, the stakes are obviously higher. Cameras have been deployed across the country on police officers and the killing by police continues unabated. More and more people have recourse to camera phones to bring to vivid light the daily reality that the police create throughout the United States and yet the police continue to kill.

As made more and more evident, the police need not just be abolished, but the whole of this society must be abolished as well. If we desire a world of communist relations then we must come to term with the reality that violence will be a part of that struggle. We can no longer make recourse to some kind of innocence as a way to protect us. To do so would justify the killings of those of us who may be armed and would use these arms to protect ourselves. Following this line of reasoning, the fact that the Dallas Police Department killed Micah Johnson with a robot-deployed bomb would be a justified act.

Further, to make the prescription/restriction that the movement against the police and the society must be non-violent would paint the revolt in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere as the action of fools. Rather, I would contend that the those revolts made bare what is to come and what needs to be done: a complete rupture with this society.

We can no longer wait to sway a ‘public’ which has largely, actively ignored the murderous actions of the police for centuries. The movement against the police precedes the Black Lives Matter movement and it is likely that this current moment will surpass it.

We must understand that the American Liberal-Left will continue to glorify and fetishize the revolutionary violence of the past or of those far, far away while they will also question every single act of violence on behalf of anyone. The Liberal-Left will go so far as to label every single agent of revolutionary violence as a ‘white anarchist, outside-agitator’ claiming black and other people of color at risk of arrest.

This often hides and whitewashes the actions and desires of black, brown, indigenous radicals that seek not an appeasement with the State but rather its wholesale abolition.

Further, we must always question when the notion of “outside agitators” is deployed as a way to condone violence as somehow being foreign or inauthentic. Below is Mumia Abu-Jamal explaining the origin of the term “outside agitators.”

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